Challenging Single Player...

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Hobbit, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. Hobbit

    Hobbit Senior Member

    Mar 25, 2004
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    Near Atlanta, GA
    is becoming a challenge to find outside of the increasingly narrow non-MMO RPG market.

    I don't know how many of you have noticed, but the single player aspect of most games grows crappier and crappier with each generation of games. At one time, single player was the name of the game on PC, since multiplayer was hard to do before widespread internet access. On the console, you had some multiplayer only titles, such as fighting games, where single player was merely multiplayer versus the computer, but it was still quite a challenge. Eventually, with advances in technology, games became a method of storytelling. Who can forget the gripping storylines of the Final Fantasy games? Eventually, everyone made some grab to make an interesting, if not compelling, single player component. Even games intended solely for multiplayer, such as Unreal Tournament, were given decent single player aspects.

    However, as of late, games are going multiplayer. An increasing number of companies is switching from standard to MMORPGs, and while those may be fun, it's nearly impossible to do even a significant amount of everything in the game without playing it all day every day, and it's absolutely impossible without a group. The FPS market, while still releasing a few quality, single-player titles like Half-Life 2, is moving more and more towards battlefield games like Battlefield 2 and Battlefront, which have a simple single-player campaign at best. Battlefield 2, in fact, has only a simple skirmish mode with a fixed map size and server size of small, making it impossible to get any practical practice with some of the vehicles that are only available on the larger maps (like the attack chopper). Even RTS's seem to concentrate first on proper multiplayer balance, then on creating a compelling storyline around the perfectly balanced factions they've made.

    Then there's the move towards realistic single-player. Now, while Splinter Cell and Rainbow 6 reach reasonable levels of realism while staying compelling, much of this has failed. In the older games, you had one character take on the world, and increasingly tougher fights as the game progressed, no matter the genre. Now, many games have moved either to a lack of a true sense of heroism, such as that in Battlefront, where you'll probably die a good 12 times per battle. Others, like RTS's with single player as a conquest mode, take the late game challenge out. In the end, you have more global resources than the other guy, so the battles are cake walks, and victory is rather anticlimactic. Much of it is also no longer story driven, with simple, mindless objectives like "conquor the world."

    Multiplayer is fun, and a few games, like Elder Scrolls IV, are keeping good single player alive, but I would just love it if game designers could just take the time to crank out a decent story with a challenging single player element every now and then.

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